Surgeon to the Irish Brigade

Dr Lawrence Reynolds was born in Waterford in 1803. He learnt his medicinal trade in Liverpool where he was a keen supporter of the Chartist movement which campaigned for equal rights to all men. During the unrest of 1848 Reynolds gave a speech that was widely reported in Liverpool where he promised to become involved in the Ironmongery Business and start distributing Swords and Pikes. He was true to his words and started to give away swords to dissatisfied men. These actions proved to much for the local judiciary and they moved to arrest him.

After falling foul of the English authorities he moved to New York and enlisted on the 26th of February 1862

Reynolds was a keen Fenian and also a the unofficial poet laurete of the Irish Brigade. In his 60s Reynolds served at every battle field that the Irish Brigade fought on. In the book “Boys of Old Erin” there was a description of Reynolds ” an old man with long white hair, and a patriarchal although unkept beard, ” the young officers thought that Reynolds was a sort of “Rebel Rip Van Winkle” and debated whether they should arrest him for being a spy. Only later when they saw him chatting amicably with General Meagher did they realise that it was ” Old Larry” surgeon to the Irish Brigade.

Reynolds was universally liked and regarded amongst the officers and men of the Irish Brigade after the war Reynolds retired to Oswego where he died in his 84th year on 28 of April 1887


About Waterford Civil War Veterans

Hi, my name is James Doherty and I pay my bills by working in marketing. My hobby is history in particular the history of my hometown Waterford.
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One Response to Surgeon to the Irish Brigade

  1. Jef Feeley says:

    I’m writing a book about Gen. Thomas Alfred Smyth and I would like to get the full citation to the book “Boys of Old Erin.” (I looked for the book on, but didn’t find it.) Could you provide me with the citation? My email is over in the U.S. Thanks & Jef Feeley out.

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